Staying safe from dogs ::
Many serious and deadly dog attacks are inflicted on children who are visiting or living temporarily at the home of a grandparent, family friend or babysitter where a pit bull or rottweiler is kept.1
Most dangerous situations
- Leaving an infant or toddler alone with any breed of dog.
- New or temporary living situations involving children and dangerous dog breeds.
- Any dog with a history of aggression in a household with children.
- Approaching a chained dog, especially if it is male and unaltered.
- Encountering a pack of loose dogs, familiar or unfamiliar to you.
- Inserting yourself into a dogfight, especially when fighting breeds are involved.
- Approaching a vehicle with a dog inside (or in the bed of a truck).
- Walking your leashed dog in front a home that harbors a pit bull.
- Passing a pit bull on the street with your child or leashed dog.
- See the Dog Attack Danger Scale, a six point test by Dog Bite Law.
- Do not pet a dog without first letting it see you, even when you know the dog!
- Do not lean your face close to a dog.
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog. If the dog wants contact with you, it will approach you in a friendly manner.
- Do not tease a dog, especially a chained or tethered dog.
- Do not startle a sleeping dog.
- Do not play aggressive games with your dog.
- Do not bother a dog that is eating.
- Do not disturb a dog that is caring for puppies.
- Do not turn your back on a dog and run away.
If you think you may be attacked
Safety tips from the CDC2
View more safety tips from the CDC »
- Stop! Stay still and be calm.
- Do not panic or make loud noises.
- Avoid direct eye contact with the dog.
- Stand with the side of your body facing the dog. Directly staring or facing a dog can appear aggressive (as a challenge) to the dog.
- Wait for the dog to pass by or slowly back away.
- If the dog does attack, "feed" him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
- If you are knocked down, curl into a ball with your head tucked in and your hands over your ears and neck.
Body language of a dog indicating a biting risk3
- Tensed body
- Stiff tail
- Drawn back head and/or ears
- Furrowed brow
- Flicking tongue
- Intense stare
- Backing away
- Eyes rolled so whites are visible